By Peter Blucher
Brad Scheer will play his first AFL game of the season in Sydney tomorrow to add another stamp to a much-travelled football ‘passport’.
Scheer will play the 11th game of his career at the ninth different venue as the Suns take on the Sydney Swans at the SCG.
The 20-year-old Suns Academy product has been a real journeyman since his debut in 2017, and, curiously, has played as often China as he has at the Suns’ headquarters at Metricon Stadium – twice each.
The Suns’ heavy travel schedule over the past two years has also taken him to Adelaide Oval. Ballarat, Kardinia Park in Geelong, Sydney Showgrounds, the Gabba and Alice Springs.
Scheer will be the 30th Queenslander to play in the AFL this year after he joined Pearce Hanley and Touk Miller as welcome inclusions to a Suns looking to repeat last year’s massive upset win over the Swans in Sydney.
Having not played in the AFL in 308 days, he gets his chance after a good NEAFL showing against Southport a fortnight ago, when he had 28 possessions and made eight tackles after a hand injury had disrupted the early part of his season.
Scheer will be hoping for a change of fortune – in his last AFL outing he was on the wrong end of a 102-point Round 23 loss to Geelong last year which made it nine losses on the trot after a win on debut.
Also looking forward to a big weekend is Melbourne Queenslander Oskar Baker, who will play his first ‘home’ game against the Lions at the Gabba on Sunday.
Baker, the former Aspley flyer who has been impressive in his first five AFL games, is coming off his first win last week when the Demons beat Fremantle.
Fellow Queenslanders Brayden Preuss and Corey Wagner are also in line for a Gabba outing after they were named last night on an extended interchange bench, but Josh Wagner was omitted after seven games in a row and 10 for the season.
Queenslander Ben Keays is among the interchange group for Brisbane hoping to play his second game of the year.
In other Queensland news from selection, Elliot Himmelberg will return to the Adelaide side to take on Geelong in Geelong tonight. He replaces the injured Josh Jenkins as fellow Queenslanders Zac Smith and Wylie Buzza were named in the Cats emergencies.
Significantly, West Coast ruckman Tom Hickey has retained his spot in the side to play Hawthorn at the MCG despite the return of Nic Naitaniu.
Hickey, in his first season at his third AFL club, was among the Eagles’ best in last week’s win over Essendon and was preferred to Nathan Vardy, who was available after a one-match suspension.